We can't believe it's been over a month since many of you embarked on the CalFresh Challenge. While there's been lots going on, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge everyone who took the Challenge this year: THANK YOU! What is most amazing to us is that the even though the Challenge is over, the impacts are clearly continuing. We'd like to share a recent facebook post of a 2014 Challenger:
"It's amazing to realize the "ripple effect" of my journey through the#CalFreshChallenge. The experience had such a deep impact on me and, as a result, on my work. I have been talking about the Challenge a lot at work - and in meetings I attend. In a recent meeting, I spoke with nutrition educators and partners about the need for us to understand the real costs of the healthy recipes we are teaching CalFresh-eligible families to make. Just got the following email from a colleague (so touched that she wrote this to me):
'I just wanted to let you know that what you shared at our meeting in regards to the CalFresh Challenge really got to me. One of our interns is helping us price out a few of the recipes (the ones we use most often) in our cookbook- I will make sure to share our findings with you and the rest of the team. Thanks'
... cool to think that things might begin to change - bit-by-bit - here in San Diego."
Comments from others echoed the impact that this one person's story had and how far throughout the San Diego community the experience had spread. We're sure that each and everyone one of you who participated in the Challenge have similar stories and have created your own ripple effects. We hope you are taking time to put your experiences to good use- telling your friends, your family, your co-workers, your local representatives about how hard it was to eat on $34/week. Most importantly, we hope you carry your experiences with you and let them guide the decisions you make in the future regarding public assistance programs.
- Think about how hard it was to focus without food when you vote in your next representative, will your representative cut or save these programs?
- Think about how expensive healthy foods were and what you had to give up when you vote on the San Diego minimum wage.
- Think about what you can do to support strengthening our local food systems and consider donating to a local organization doing great work... it starts at home; it starts with us.